Gold Australian Sovereigns

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About the Australian Sovereign Gold Coin

Gold Sovereigns have been produced in the territory of each British colony, yet the first one on which were minted these legendary coins was Australia. The Royal Crown decided to produce their sovereigns near their source areas of mining gold in order to avoid the costs of shipping the gold to London to make the coins and, in some cases, sending them back for further circulation.

The first Australian Gold Sovereigns were issued by the Sydney Mint in 1871, and then followed by the Melbourne Mint in 1872, and finally the  Perth Mint in 1899. Each Australian branch of the Royal Mint struck Gold Sovereigns with their own mintmark, P (Perth), M (Melbourne), or S (Sydney). Australian Gold Sovereigns come in a broad variety of obverse portraits and sizes, but all are struck from .9167% pure gold (22K gold) and 8.33% copper alloy.

However, before striking normal type British Sovereigns, the Sydney Mint also produced its own Australian Gold Sovereigns (1855-1870) and Australian Gold Half-Sovereigns (1855-1866) which carried a different design. These iconic gold coins were named sovereigns due to their obverse images depicting the sovereign leader of the British Empire. Due to their rarity and historical value, Australian Sovereigns are highly collectible and usually carry higher premiums than other gold coins.

The Size of the Australian Sovereign Gold Coins

The Australian Gold Sovereign, just like all other British Gold Sovereigns, was made from .2354 oz. (the Sovereign) and .1177 oz. (the Half-Sovereign) of 22K gold (a 91.67% gold and 8.33% copper alloy). The .2354 oz. weight was fixed by the Coin Act of 1816, being the equivalent of 113 grains.

The Design of the Australian Sovereign Gold Coins

The obverse design of Gold Sovereigns differs according to each mintage period of the British coin, every time depicting the reigning monarch (sovereign):

  • 1871-1887 issues bear the Queen Victoria Young Head portrait
  • 1887-1893 editions carry the profile image of Queen Victoria Jubilee Head
  • 1893-1901 issues bear the portrait of Queen Victoria Veiled (Old) Head
  • 1902-1910 editions carry the King Edward VII portrait
  • 1911-1928 issues bear the First Portrait of King George V
  • 1929-1931 editions carry the Modified Portrait of King George V

The reverse side of the Australian Gold Sovereign depicts the classic image representing St. George mounted on horseback and slaying the dragon, along with the mintmark and the year of mintage. This magnificent image has been used for British sovereigns since 1817 when it was created by the talented Italian engraver Benedetto Pistrucci. However, the Sydney and Melbourne Mints also produced 1871-1887 Australian Gold Sovereigns carrying a distinct reverse design, featuring the British crown and shield motif, framed by a heraldic wreath.

1855-1870 Australian Gold Sovereigns depicted on their obverse side the young laureate and braided left side portrait of Queen Victoria. The reverse side showcases the crown above the word “Australia” within a wreath and the words “One Sovereign” and “Sydney Mint”.

Browse our wide selection of Australian bullion coins produced by the Perth Mint and Royal Australian Mint .For any questions about Australian Gold Sovereigns for sale, just contact us at 800.852.6884, or by email at info@bullionexchanges.com. Or you can reach our Bullion Exchanges customer service representatives through our live chat feature.